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Wu Man and Friends
Photo © Stephen Kahn
Photo © Stephen Kahn

For the last three decades, performer and composer Wu Man 吴蛮 has been a leading ambassador for Chinese music, blending traditional and contemporary elements through the pipa, a four-stringed plucked lute. Born in Zhejiang Province, she has been featured on two Smithsonian Folkways albums: Music of Central Asia: Borderlands (2012), for which she collaborated with Hui, Tajik, and Uyghur musicians, to explore connections between the musical worlds of China and Central Asia, and The Silk Road: A Musical Caravan (2002). For her Smithsonian Folklife Festival evening performance, Wu Man was joined by Haruka Fujii, an acclaimed percussionist from Japan who has performed with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road ensemble, and Yang Yi 杨艺, a leading virtuoso on zheng, the Chinese twenty-one-string zither, who directs the Yang Yi Guzheng Academy.

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